By Munesu Chigada
Norton finds itself on the cusp of defying the country’s two main parties by flexing its democratic right and going for the man who has already served them so well for the past one and a half year.
The signs on the ground are slowly turning around and revealing a picture that should be startling to both ZANU PF and MDC Alliance.
However the selection of independent candidate Temba Mliswa over Samuel Matemera of MDC Alliance and Chris Mutsvangwa, of ZANU PF can be explained in very simple ways that also confirm the shortcomings of party politics.
For ZANU PF having Mutsvangwa still loitering around the electoral ring is an indictment of its lack of internal democracy and the kwashiorker of ideas bedevilling the ruling party.
Mutsvangwa is a remnant of the Mugabe era, a bastion of selfish, self-agrandisement who after losing the primary elections, warned President Mnangagwa that he would lose the elections if he were not reinstated.
That he was illegally reinstated after losing to Langton Mutendereki was a retrogressive move that should have been shunned in this new dispensation.
Mutsvangwa simply had to swallow his huge pride, slink away into the Senate Chamber or disappear into some government bureaucratic catacomb from where he could verbosely drone on out of sight and out of mind.
That he is still around seeking re-election signals to the people of Norton that the party still has nothing new and much to offer.
By the returning of Mutsvangwa the people of Norton read that ZANU PF had nothing new to give them since they returned a man who utterly failed to deliver in his previous term of office and actually demolished and pulled out the tiny lot he had tried to do, after his loss.
Mutsvangwa is still remembered for taking away the ambulances he had donated after he lost.
He is still infamous for removing the boreholes he had drilled and he is still known for being the hysterical political pantomime who took down a public television just because he had lost.
The people still remember all that and have been voicing their displeasure at his illegal return.
For a solution they have chosen the middle path and that is to go for Mliswa.
Mutsvangwa in Norton stands as a politician of no ideological standing, bedecked only in ZANU regalia but personally impotent, directionless and prone to attritional politics of the Mugabe era.
His rallies are largely vicious spectacles of anti-songs and anti-speeches.
Seldom does he speak about real strategies to turn around the town, preferring instead to pout about his high rank in government, closeness to President ED and the constant flying that he is known to constantly boast about.
His being a limited politician has already been unmasked by Mliswa who has resorted to calling for open debates with his opponents, acutely aware of their personal limitations.
Matemera for MDC Alliance is simply riding on the popularity of the MDC brand but is himself a bulky huge nothing lacking both charisma and the magnetic pull to win crowds.
Like most opposition party members he has tried to survive politically by focusing on the ills of the past heaping blame on the ruling party but coming short in terms of elucidating the way forward.
His solutions are mere populist hallucinations based on no clear practical plan.
All this has left the incumbent MP Temba Mliswa with a strong home run to make as he has slowly cultivated the image of the people’s MP, attending funerals, assisting the vulnerable and producing results through various projects.
His nickname, Bhuru, has come to be the hallmark for a man of vision and stout resolve eager to bring change to Norton. (Zimbabwe)
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